Black Seeds to play mus­sel fest

Marlborough Express - The Saturday Express, Marlborough - - FRONT PAGE - JENNIFER EDER

Have­lock’s famed mus­sel fes­ti­val has booked in the ‘sound of sum­mer’ as or­gan­is­ers push the boat out to at­tract more out-of-town­ers.

The Have­lock Mus­sel and Seafood Fes­ti­val has an­nounced reg­gae-funk band The Black Seeds will head­line at the up­com­ing fes­ti­val, one of sev­eral new ad­di­tions.

New fes­ti­val co-or­di­na­tor Hans Neil­son says he wants the fes­ti­val vibe to be ‘‘pal­pa­ble’’ in the port­side town on March 17.

‘‘I want peo­ple driv­ing through to say, ‘ wow, what’s go­ing on here?’,’’ Neil­son says.

Neil­son joins the fes­ti­val in its 14th year as the com­mit­tee con­tin­ues to shake things up af­ter re­brand­ing the event last year, ex­pand­ing the fo­cus to in­clude seafood as well as mus­sels.

The town’s for­mer com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment ad­viser says the re­brand­ing is a good op­por­tu­nity to jazz things up.

‘‘We want it to be the so­cial event of the cal­en­dar, and for peo­ple from Have­lock to walk away feel­ing proud of host­ing the fes­ti­val. And we’re pretty con­fi­dent we will do that, but it’s been a lot of hard work.

‘‘This is the first time we’ve had a ma­jor act play at the festi- val. We had a good dis­cus­sion about the sound we wanted, and we wanted it to be a fam­i­lyfriendly day, for peo­ple to en­joy them­selves, and it’s an iconic fes­ti­val so we wanted an iconic Kiwi band.

‘‘We had a few short­listed, but Black Seeds was al­ways top of the list.’’

Mus­sel fans will also be able to flex their mus­cles at the new Strong­man and Strong­woman com­pe­ti­tion, along­side the usual food stalls and mus­sel shuck­ing com­pe­ti­tion, Hans says.

A celebrity chef is yet to be con­firmed.

An Aqua­cul­ture Week is be­ing planned for the days be­fore the fes­ti­val, though de­tails are still be­ing fi­nalised, Neil­son says.

‘‘There will be a Mus­sel Ap­pre­ci­a­tion Day on the Fri­day, in­dus­try dis­plays and food and drinks, and we’re hop­ing to bring peo­ple from Blen­heim and across Marl­bor­ough out to cel­e­brate our mus­sel in­dus­try.

‘‘The fes­ti­val is huge for the in­dus­try, they love it, and we want peo­ple to get more in­volved. Peo­ple who love food, peo­ple who love mus­sels and fam­i­lies af­ter some­thing fun they can take the kids to. There’s some­thing for ev­ery­one.’’

The Marl­bor­ough District Coun­cil has granted $10,000 for the fes­ti­val through the Com­mer­cial Events Fund, which Neil­son says is mostly be­ing used to ad­ver­tise the event in other re­gions.

‘‘We want to make this thing big and pull peo­ple in from out­side the re­gion, to stay in our ac­com­mo­da­tion and spend their money here.’’

The Black Seeds have just fin­ished tour­ing on the re­lease of their new al­bum Fabric.


Have­lock Mus­sel and Seafood Fes­ti­val co-or­di­na­tor Hans Neil­son is work­ing on some new twists on an old favourite.


The Black Seeds are the head­lin­ing act at the Have­lock Mus­sel and Seafood Fes­ti­val in 2018.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.